Renee Turnbaugh age 88 of Cheyenne, WY passed away early in the morning on Sunday, January 24, 2021. She was born March 18, 1932 in Bangor, WI to Paul Dvorak and Nayva Robinson.
She is survived by her husband David (“Dave”) Turnbaugh as well as her four children
Mike (Kim) Turnbaugh of Tulsa, OK
Diane Tappy of Broomfield, CO
Judith (Rex) Tippetts of Lovell, WY
Trudy (Mike) Rowe of Colorado Springs, CO
One of the joys in Renee’s life was her grandchildren – she is survived by all five of them
Michael David and Christopher Turnbaugh (Mike’s sons)
Erryn and Jessica Tappy (Diane’s daughters)
Jennifer Tippetts (Judith’s daughter)
Renee loved animals. She is also survived by “fur” grandbabies and great grandbabies including Red, Kensi, Cassie, Bosley, Fifi, Katie, Riley, Misha, Kosmo, Champ, Switzer and Teddy.
Renee’s parents and family relocated from Wisconsin to Thermopolis when she was a teenager. She and Dave met while students at the Hot Springs County High School. While they met in high school, they did not date until their mid-twenties. Renee had returned to Thermopolis after living in Indiana and Wisconsin for a bit and Dave had returned after serving in the Navy. They were married January 17, 1959 at the First Baptist Church in Thermopolis.
After high school graduation Renee moved to Denver and attended Stevens Business College. As you can imagine for a young girl in her twenties, Renee loved her time in Denver. She frequently talked fondly of those years.
Dave and Renee lived in Casper until 1971 and then moved to Cheyenne, where their family home still is. In Cheyenne, Renee worked at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department for many years. She also worked for a time at the Legislature.
Renee loved music. She was a member of Sweet Adelines and the Kitchen Band. At one point she even decided to learn to play the banjo (much to the chagrin of her family, whose ears will never be the same). She loved music – she wasn’t necessarily good at music.
Renee loved to travel. When they both retired, she and Dave “RV’d”. Those were probably some of the happiest times of her life. They had their motor home and a tow car – first the Jeep and then the Suzi – and would head out for months at a time. They liked the gulf coast as well as the desert Southwest. They also traveled to Hawaii (obviously not by RV) and Alaska. The Alaska trip was one of her best.
A few fun facts (not necessarily good)
d)She was a horrible cook. It was scary. That said, she made the best caramel corn on the planet and, back in the day, made great homemade bread and cinnamon rolls.
She thought Terry Bradshaw was a great country western singer. Highlight of her life when she met him. No idea that he played football.
Ironically, later in life, she was a football fan. At the assisted living facility, it was well known not to disturb Renee on Sundays since she was watching football. She was a Denver Broncos fan. She thought John Elway was “one good-looking man”. She was a Green Bay Packers fan. She thought Aaron Rodgers was even better looking that John Elway. Beyond just the looks of the quarterbacks (and other players), she truly enjoyed watching football. As a side note, the Green Bay Packers thing is a bit of an issue for her son-in-law Mike Rowe.
She was opinionated – very opinionated. She told you how she felt about pretty much everything – world affairs, politics, what you had on, how your hair looked and so on and so on. She had no filter – sometimes that was good, frequently that was bad. Overall, it is just one of the things that made her “her”.
She was feisty. She was sometimes funny. She was frequently grumpy. As her son Mike would say “Mom was like a box of chocolates – you were never sure what you were going to get”.
She did not think that you could go more than two hours without eating something – a cookie, a piece of hard candy, a granola bar, a peppermint. There was something in every coat pocket, purse, glove box, etc. Truly ridiculous.
Later in life, she loved “Google Earth”. She couldn’t run the program. Liked to get someone else to run it and then make them crazy with things like “go back to where the old railroad tracks used to be”, “see if you can find that barn that burned down”.
Renee was proud of her kids – didn’t necessarily tell them but told everyone else.
Renee was proud of her grandkids – usually told them, their parents and everyone else.
Later in life, Renee unfortunately developed Parkinson’s disease and that robbed her of her mobility and independence. It was difficult. Difficult for her and difficult for the family. While she struggled physically, she was still mentally sharp. She remembered more about her kids’ high-school friends than they did. She remembered more about every campground and couple that they met than Dave did – sometimes too much (no, Mom we do not know what happened to Mary Reed – hopefully you do now).
Renee’s life was not without struggle or challenge. Sometimes it was very challenging – for her, for Dave, for her kids. That said, she leaves behind an amazing, loving family. A family that loves deeply and truly treasures each other. Renee/Mom – you were loved. You will be missed. We pray for you and hope that you have Peace.
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